Redfin Integrates Microsoft Virtual Earth Map Platform,
Continues Expansion in Greater Seattle and San Francisco Bay Areas
SEATTLE – Jan. 12, 2007 – Online real estate broker Redfin Corporation today released a new version of www.redfin.com based on the Microsoft Virtual Earth map platform, offering home-buyers powerful new ways to explore a neighborhood. With today’s announcement, Redfin also more than doubled its geographic coverage in the Greater Seattle and San Francisco Bay Areas; and added online agent chat and more listing information such as homeowner’s dues.
The first to display real estate data on an online map, Redfin originally developed its own mapping technology using government-provided imagery of Seattle and San Francisco. Now that mapping platforms have become publicly available on the Internet, Redfin replaced this technology with Virtual Earth to expand more quickly and to offer a richer user experience. A blog posting on why Redfin chose Virtual Earth over other mapping platforms is available at: http://www.redfin.com/blog/redfin/2007/01/redfin_on_virtual_earth.html
The integration available today gives Redfin users better performance, double-click zooming, and a choice between aerial imagery and the traditional map view. Redfin plans to use Virtual Earth to offer bird’s-eye views of neighborhoods, driving directions, mobile telephone integration and more neighborhood information about local attractions and retail shops.
With the new map, Redfin is expanding from San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in California to now serve Napa, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties. In Washington, Redfin is expanding eastward to include all of King County as well as Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Redfin also has hired new agents in these areas to provide local support for customers using its e-commerce service to buy or sell a house. The expansion increases the number of listings available on Redfin.com by nearly 200 percent and the number of records on past sales by more than 150 percent.
The latest version also includes new features based on direct customer feedback:
- More listing information: listings now include all available details from each multiple listing service such as homeowner’s dues, open house information and virtual tours, when available.
- Online agent chat: start an instant message chat with a Redfin agent to get immediate answers while making an offer or starting a new listing (9 a.m. – 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday; noon – 6 p.m. PT, Saturday and Sunday).
“The Redfin real estate brokerage site provides precise outlines of every property directly on the Virtual Earth map, demonstrating just how flexible and powerful our platform can be,